This meditation focuses on the emptiness of the correlation between what we see with our eyes, and what we touch with our hands. It takes as an example a rock you can hold in your hand and look at. Why do we think that what we are seeing and what we are feeling comprise the same object? It is actually two different pieces of sensory data, which the mind then combines together.
This exercise is very helpful for establishing how the mind creates all the objects around you, and for realizing that it really is impossible for any object to affect another object at all – the connections we think we see are images of our own mind.
Steps of the Rock Meditation
1. Hold a stone in your hand.
2. Close your eyes and feel the hardness.
3. Open your eyes and see the shape and color.
4. Think of how you normally conceive of this object’s features – that both its shape and its hardness are within the rock itself.
5. Now see how the mind is creating the connection between the thing the eye sees, and the thing the hand feels.
6. Now take away your projection of that connection, and see that there is no other connection there at all.
[Note: You can also practice this meditation without opening your eyes and just imaging the shape and color. Once you’ve got the idea, you can try this meditation using other objects as well.]
Example of the Rock Meditation
If I didn’t have the seed in my mind to see this rock as hard, it wouldn’t be hard. And if I didn’t have the seed in my mind to see it as round, it wouldn’t be round. These qualities are not coming from the outside, from the rock itself. If I had different seeds, or could control my seeds, it could actually not be hard, for me. And that is why great saints can walk through fire without getting burned, because the hotness is not inherently a quality of fire. And that is why Jesus could walk across water.